On February 2, 1997, about 1140 eastern standard time, a Cessna A150L, N6005J, registered to Atlantic Flying Club Inc., was substantially damaged while maneuvering, near St. Mary's, Georgia. The private-rated pilot received serious injuries and one passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed in the vicinity, and no flight plan had been filed. The local personal flight was being conducted in accordance with Title 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he was intending to photograph his son's house. Before taking the photos he flew around the local area, did some touch-and-go landings at an airport, and then returned to his son's house to start taking photos.
According to the pilot he was within 2 miles of an airport, so he announced his intention over the airport's UNICOM frequency that he would be "within 2 miles of the airport...circling to take photographs." He descended to an altitude of "1000 feet AGL...and circled my sons house. Upon seeing people come out of the house and wave at us I decided to slow down and take a couple of pictures."
The pilot stated that he slowed the airplane down to "flap operating speed...[and] put in 10 degrees of flap." He then increased power, trimmed the airplane for level flight and "essentially hands off' control...[and] commenced a circle for pictures." He circled twice, took two pictures, and "then decided to drop...a tennis ball I had previously made up for the purpose...I tossed out the tennis ball. I then reached down for the camera in my lap and looked through the view finder, but was unable to frame the picture...I placed the camera back on my lap, and heard a cough/stutter from the engine and experienced a power loss...I employed carb (sic) heat and advanced the throttle...I seem to recall a slight forward movement when the power loss occurred and then I seem to recall sliding back away from the dash. Then I seem to have lost control. I remember trying to the keep the wings level and I watched the trees coming at me..."
Ground witnesses saw the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude, turning, and going nose low into the trees. In addition, the witnesses told investigators that they heard the sound of the engine until impact. Examination of the engine and the airframe did not reveal any discrepancies.